Saturday, June 11, 2011

To be the "Elite Wave" or not to be?

I have a tri this week, on Wednesday.  It is the Tricertops Tri, at Island Lake.  This will be my third time doing this particular race, and my 6th time doing the course.  This tri is the first in a series of 3.  Last year, I did the full series.  Due to parental responsibilities, I will not be able to do the full series this year. Boo!  Anyway, one of my goals from last year was to qualify for the "elite wave", and I actually did at the last of the three races.  I was close during the middle one, almost a minute over.  Now that I went ahead and qualified for it, I am now faced with the decision, do I actually do it?

I will feel cool and fast.
I will be on the course at the same time as the "fast people", and make it easier to figure out where I stand in my age group, potentially pushing me harder to keep pace with them.
I will get done earlier in the evening (only by MAYBE 10 minutes, but with the kiddos, every minute in the evening counts).
My clock time will be the same as my finish time.
Most of my "fast" friends will be starting in the elite wave, and this is an opportunity to start with them.  In the past, I have only been able to start with one or two other people I know based on age group alone, since this race is rather large and each age group as its own wave.

You MAY be disqualified if you do not finish under said "elite" time.  I have sent an email asking how serious they are about this, as I have legitimately qualified for it and they have record of it.  I don't want a DQ because of a minor equipment problem on the bike or something that puts me a bit over, or if I just have a bad race.
My swim is not fast.  I may feel like a fool swimming way off behind the elites, and I may not be able to find someone to follow/draft and keep me on course.  My best swim times have been when I have stayed rather close to a group to make it easier to sight.  I know I should not rely on this for sighting, as I could end up following someone like myself who can't swim straight and go right off course.
I haven't confirmed that Colleen K is doing this race yet, but if so, I would start with her.  We pretty much pushed each other like CRAZY last year since we were very closely matched until the run.  Our swims can go either way, and she can kill me on the bike, but I was able to take her on the run everytime, much to her frustration.  We received the "dynamic duo" award last year at our tri club banquet for our efforts and how close it came a couple times.  They even joked that I needed to walk up halfway to receive the award, and then at the last minute, run and get it front of her.  Because I narrowly qualified, I think it may put her out.  I am not sure. 
This is the first sprint tri of the season, I am feeling pretty drained and slow after R4R.  I am a bit worried that I may break streak of my PRing every time I do a tri.  I was super speedy at the last one, and I feel like my swim has gotten slower as I have worked more on going longer and not faster.

Any thoughts on what I should do?  I know I need to ask Colleen her plans, as well as find out if anyone else I know will be starting with me.

Also here is my AWESOMELY BAD farmer tan from R4R.  I had people asking what happened to me at the gym on Tuesday when I swam, and I felt like a fool when I donned my bikini to take the kids to the beach at Island lake to watch a TIA OWS.  We have a vacation to the ocean coming up, and I need some serious help to look normal again before I hit the real beach.  Any suggestions/recommendations on spray or self tanners?

Finally, I got my car fully "blinged" out.  Ryan could not believe that it took me this long, but it required some major goo-be-gone.  I removed my peeling 26.2 sticker that left ALL of its adhesive on the glass and replaced it with the 70.3.  I added a new pink 26.2 magnet, as well as received the "swim bike run" magnet as a gift from Dave over at New Balance he did not have a 70.3 magnet for our truck.  He is ordering me one, so I should have it before the Wed night sprint tri.

I am looking forward to your feedback- on the elite wave AND the horrible tan line fix!  It is not quite so bad as Steve's picture here.  I laughed pretty hard at that one.  Although, if my beach vacay gets rid of my farmer tan, I might look like that too!


Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

That is awesomely bad tan line. I don't tri , so I can't really give you any advice on which wave to start with, but good luck!

CupCake@ Bigger Girls Can Run Too said...

I normally use the bath and body works glow and steady or strike gold from their spa collection. It doesn't turn me orange at all. I use it as a base color so that when I'm in the sun I will tan instead of burn. Works for me.

Not sure about the tri wave. Maybe once you hear back from them about the DQ it will help with your decision a bit more. I always enjoy a challenge, but a DQ is no fun. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Whew...those are some FAST women youll be starting with. I can say that personally I would never be able to hang with them on the swim or run..the bike maybe but they would already be so far ahead of me in the water there's no way I'd catch up to them. I wouldn't even be in the same zip code as any of them at the finish!

Good luck with whatever you choose but know that those women are horses!

Richelle said...

I don't know what it is about bad tan lines, but they always make me smile. I don't have any advice for self-tanners... sorry!

Colleen said...

I have those same tan lines... they never go away! :) Wish I could be more help.

Personally, I wouldn't start with the elites. But that's just me. I kind of feel weird about the whole "elite" category. I don't know why... I really can't explain it. I'll never qualify for it anyway so it's not really something I need to consider! :) But your list of pro's for it probably outweigh the con's.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I dunno how I feel about the elite catergory, I know some races here make you go elite if you qualify for it in the last years race. I did not know about the time DQ part, what if you had a bad day, gi issue, mechanic issue, its not fair to get a DQ on something that you had no control in. Sorry, I am no help, if I was forced to pick, I guess AG

Andrea said...

I think you should go for it! If you qualified for Nationals would you go? What about Worlds or Kona? Would you turn it down? You never know until you try!

Elizabeth Downie said...

That tan line is HILARIOUS!!! I couldn't figure out what was going on there at first! But yeah, the picture you linked to is worse, for sure. Too funny.

Still though, at least you look great in a bathing suit! :)

Lesley @ said...

I know I'm late in commenting... but the only way to improve that tan line is by wearing some compression socks to your next race so that you have some matching sock lines... it'd be HAWT! ;-)